A crowd of shoppers browse at Target on the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Burbank, California in this November 22, 2012, file photo. Opening their doors and offering sales on Thanksgiving did more than give retailers an early start to the holiday shopping season - the holiday actually may have drawn more shoppers than "Black Friday." (Photo : REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn)
If there are signs of an economic recovery in California, since the start of the economic crisis, fewer households are seeing it.
According to data released from the U.S. Census Bureau, California's median household income in 2011 was projected to be at $57,287. That pay scale was only slightly higher than the national average last year of $50,502 while the Golden State's poverty rate and its medically uninsured population were among the nation's highest, as noted by Department of Numbers.com, an independent economic data-collecting website.
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While most households in California were making an average of $65,027 in 2007, more California households were losing roughly $2,000 or more each year through 2011. The current level of household income is about 11 percent and $7,740 lower than it was in 2007, according to census data complied by the site.
Looking at individuals, or "per capita," more individuals within a household in the Golden State have been losing money since 2007, when the average California per capita rate peaked at $31,108. Over a four-year span, that amount has dropped 10.4 percent and $3,249 lower, with the average Californian making $27,859 last year.
Meanwhile, California families have also been feeling the pinch. The current median income average for families in the state dipped to $65,476, which reflects a $7,726 loss from when the typical family was making $73,202 in 2007--which was 10.5 percent higher.
By comparison, Census 2000 showed that the average California household made $47,493, while the average per capita income of California households was $22,711, while the median family income was $53,025.
California's Poverty Level Rises
Whether it by coincidence or not, more and more Californians are falling below the poverty line, as well.
A report from the U.S. Census released in mid-November, using a new measure to determine poverty levels, showed that the Golden State's poverty rates have shot up more than seven percent from 16.3 percent to 23.5 percent.
That means that two in 10 of every California resident is identified as living in poverty.
"Not only is that the highest in the nation, but it represents the largest jump from the official rate. The increase is driven in part by California's high cost of living," reported 89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio.
According to Kathleen Short, the author of the report, the new measure used by the Census uses new poverty thresholds representing a dollar amount spent on a basic set of goods adjusted to reflect geographic differences in housing costs.
"The official poverty thresholds are the same no matter where you live," she wrote.
Tomorrow: Part 4 of the California Economy Recovery series will deal with the Housing market, is it improving? A look at its impact on local economy.